Island Stylin’

Holiday Weekend Head-to-Toe Checklist

By SANDRA WEYANT | Jun 28, 2017
File Photo by: Jack Reynolds

Fourth of July weekend is right around the corner, and you’re free to celebrate any way you desire. If you’re going to the beach with friends and family, here is a little cheat sheet of some items to bring along to make the most out of your holiday festivities.

Claim Your Spot. Set up shop and get comfy and cozy on the warm sand. For bigger groups, blankets are ideal because everyone can fit and socialize near one another. Don’t forget to bring a beach towel to dry off after you take a dip in the refreshing ocean water. Beat the heat with an umbrella or canopy and some beach chairs.

Play in the Sand. Bringing little ones to the beach? You’ll need something to keep them occupied. A good, old-fashioned bucket of beach toys always does the trick. Who doesn’t enjoy making sand castles and digging holes? Let’s be honest, adults love it, too. Water guns and bubble wands are also fun for all ages.  

Get in the Game. Go long! There is nothing more American than football, and if you’re with a bunch of guys who want to show off their skills and pretend they’re in the NFL, they’ll want to play. On the plus side, tackling in the sand doesn’t hurt as much as on turf. If football isn’t your thing, don’t worry, there are many other options. A classic game of beach volleyball or badminton is always a good time. You can also toss a Frisbee around or play some Whiffle Ball.

Go Fly a Kite. When the sky is crystal clear and the sun is shining bright, flying a kite is a great beach activity. The more room, the better. Parks and beaches are the best places to fly a kite. Just remember: Don’t fly your kite near any streets or power lines. Up, up and away!

Crank the Tunes. Get the party started. Bring portable speakers or play songs directly from your phone or tablet. Create playlists ahead of time with a variety of music to cater to everyone’s listening tastes, or use an app that does it for you. Keep the music at a decent volume as to not disturb other beachgoers. Same goes for backyard parties.

Suit Up. Unless you’re heading to a nude beach (no judgment), you’ll need a bathing suit for all your water-related fun: swimming, boating, Jet Skiing, paddleboarding and more. Don’t be one of those people who forget their suit and have to miss out on all of the activities.

Cover Up. For the ladies: Toss on an easy, breezy dress over your bikini or one-piece swimsuit for a quick outfit that doesn’t require much effort. Bring a cute pair of sandals to dress it up a little more if you’re going to a restaurant or bar, or just taking a stroll on the boardwalk. Not a dress person? Linen beach pants or lightweight shorts and a tank top are also great options. For the gentlemen: A T-shirt paired with board shorts is totally acceptable casual attire after a day at the beach. If you’d rather freshen up in something new, pack another outfit and change in a nearby restroom.   

Feet First. Protect your feet from blazing-hot sand with a pair of flip flops or sandals. Everyone has that one friend who wears socks and sneakers to the beach, and we all know that once you get sand in places it shouldn’t belong, it’s hard to get it out. Let your feet breathe and keep your kicks free of sand.

Got Munchies? A cooler filled with drinks and snacks is a must if you’re spending the day in the hot sun. Drink lots of water and replenish your body with the nutrients it needs. Remember: Just because you may be in the water doesn’t mean that your body is hydrated.

Stash Some Cash. If the ice cream truck comes, you’ll want to have some singles ready. Leave your license and wallet with credit cards locked in the car. It’s best not to bring any valuables to the beach to prevent them from being damaged or stolen.  

Turn a New Page. Couldn’t find the time to dive into a new book you’ve been eyeing up? The moment has arrived. Get lost in a sappy romance, popular classic, intense thriller – whatever strikes your fancy. If you’re tech savvy, you can also read on your iPad, Kindle, Nook or any other fancy gadget, but don’t leave it out in the sun. 

Beauty on the Beach. Minimal makeup is best for beach days, but if you want to feel extra glamorous, opt for waterproof products that won’t smear or run after sweating or swimming. Foundations often cannot handle the heat and will melt or crack, so if you’re looking for face coverage, a tinted moisturizer is the perfect solution. Apply sunscreen first. Fresh out of the ocean? Salty hair, don’t care. Let your hair dry naturally. Messy beach waves are in.

Think “A-head.” Whether you have hair or not, it’s often difficult to tell if your scalp is getting too much sun until it’s too late. Cover your head with a hat – baseball caps, floppy hats, fedoras and more – to limit sun exposure. Try wide-brimmed styles for more shade and sun protection. For babies and toddlers, bucket hats are ideal to protect the full head and back of the neck from sunburn.

Sun’s Out, Shades On. Sunglasses are the finishing touch to your summer look, and they are essential to shield your eyes from the sun. Look stylish, squint-free, in your favorite frames.  

Lather It On. Oiling and lotioning. Lotioning and oiling. Catch that “Sandlot” reference? Anyway, it’s easy to get caught up in all the fun in the sun and forget to apply sunscreen, but it’s very important to protect your skin from the sun’s harmful rays. It is recommended to reapply sunscreen every two hours, or after swimming or excessive sweating.

Don’t Let the Bugs Bite. When the sun goes down, the bugs come out. Fend off the mosquitos, creepy crawlers and other flying insects with bug spray, citronella candles or fire torches. No one likes to move the party inside when unwelcome guests arrive.  

In Case of an Emergency ... Accidents happen, and you always want to be prepared with a first aid kit. If someone steps on a sea shell, it’s better to have it and not need it than to need it and not have it.

And, finally, the most important tips of all: Have a happy Fourth of July. Stay safe and have fun.

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